Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ron Paul backers take the state GOP by storm

The Paul campaign strategy has been to concentrate on caucus states and to nominate and support delegates out of the precinct level and on to the county, district conventions and then to the state committees.

Iowa GOP district committees met on Saturday, 4/21 and it's looking like that strategy is working.

Iowa’s 28 delegates are all “unbound,” meaning they can individually decide which presidential candidate to support. To stop Paul supporters from controlling the Iowa delegation, Romney backers in Iowa said they will likely focus on teaming up with Christian conservatives here.
Paul loyalists did well in getting their supporters onto the GOP’s “state nomination committee,” which will nominate Iowa’s 13 at-large national delegates. Another 12 district delegates will be selected June 15. The GOP chairman and Iowa’s two Republican National Committee members are also delegates.
The ultimate outcome could be that neither Romney (original winner of the Iowa Caucus) nor Santorum (the declared winner) will end up with the majority of delegates out of Iowa.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Almost restores my faith in the state legislature

Not quite.

Legislative output won’t be high this session
“When you can reduce the number of bills, that’s probably a good thing,” said Rep. Ralph Watts, R-Adel. “If you put all the code books side by side and you look at the growth of them over the years, you can really relate that — as those books grow, your personal freedom goes down.
“People complain about, ‘well, it’s a do-nothing Legislature.’ My experience in the time I’ve been here is the shorter time we’re here, the better off the people out there are; the less we get involved, the less we meddle in their lives,” Watts added.
Well said.
[Sen. Rob] Hogg, vice chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee — an area that traditionally sees a lot of legislative action — said the panel took a limited approach this session to House-passed measures dealing with gun laws and other bills that seemed politically motivated or designed to take advantage of an election-year session.
 Because enjoying protections from prosecution\persecution while protecting yourself is "politically motivated" and has nothing to do with protecting one's life.

Looks like the legislature will adjourn on Friday, barring a recall from the governor.

No "castle doctrine", no addition to the state constitution, and traffic cameras will be allowed to expand across the state instead of banned.

Giving them a D- for not being freedom-minded legislators.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Camp Stranded update, 4/23/12

It's been a frustrating first quarter for the Stranded clan, not the least of which has been a project that was dumped on my lap because of a 6 month period of neglect. (BTW, it has to be completed by June 30th).

There were some dark days that we are still finding our way through. Nothing major like other folks but just enough to keep us humble, as my dad would say.

Week days and nights for a job I keep wondering about, the one bright spot has been the acreage. It's been tough not to be thinking or planning what needs to be done while at my "real job" or at home, as the only real time I have to work down there is during weekends, if not beckoned because of work.

The hay (which really needs to be rotated out or reseeded) received frost burn last week but luckily not enough damage to make me worried. After intense negotiations with a neighbor (he stopped by and asked), he's going to buy the hay this year. If we treat each other right, we can continue but for some reason he keeps insulting my shed building skills, so this may be a short-lived relationship. Hmmm...

Our reforestation plan got a boost through the generosity of True Blue Sam, and please forgive me Sam, but I shared some of the coffeetree nuts with my brother who lives in Henry county. Hope you don't mind as long as no one tells him I kept the best for myself. We've got them all in the ground, some during the February-March thaw, and others I cold-hardened and then planted in pots. I have a couple up already.

This past weekend, we planted a couple of honeycrisp apple trees and a couple of the delicious variety. And I'm sure they're in the wrong spot as I wire caged them to try to keep the deer out, but I'm not out much except time. I have 30 or so red maple seedlings ready to transplant, a dozen hackberry and about 50 pin oak.

This is my spring harvest:


Two gallons (so far) of red maple seeds. If any of my readers are interested in some let me know as I have more than enough to share. This year's crop has been generous and I won't guess how many tens of thousands of seeds my two trees have produced.

A ten-year rotation of maple trees might make a good cash crop, who knows.

I transplanted a few of the red cedars to a family friend this past weekend and I'm heavily leaning on transplanting others to make a windbreak along the west road. Time being the factor on that project.

I've also got an over-abundance of box elders that need a good home and silver (soft) maples that need to be removed. Anyone interested in either of those, let me know. I'm not interested in keeping any of the soft maples and there's hundreds of two-foot tall trees.

We put some other work on the place to help control erosion and clear brush, but my biggest problem is that there's so much to do, it's a matter prioritizing.

I'll be sharing more news in the coming week (unless all hell breaks loose at work or Herr Oberf├╝hrer Gronstal actually allows legislation to be voted on in the state senate).

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Traffic camera bill passes house

HF2450 prohibiting the use of traffic cameras, passed the house on a 58 to 42 vote.

It now goes on to die in the senate.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Statehouse shutdown. And the people rejoice!!!

Not exactly. But at least they didn't raise taxes today.

This afternoon, state representative, Ako Abdul-Samad (D-Des Moines) received a "threatening letter" that contained a unknown white substance. Hazmat teams were called in to clear things out, just in case.

While this is a serious matter, the cynical side of me has reservations regarding the incident.

And the Kabuki Theater entertains us all:


The hazmat teams arrived in protective suits while the representatives and staff kept a watchful eye on the proceedings.

Across the aisle, a state senator thought the response was unimpressive.

And then Senator Gronstal, as always, displays the decorum and dignity that worthy of his position:
“Don’t let those bastards in here. They’re House members for Christ’s sake,” Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstal joked at around 5:45 p.m. as senators waited at their desks for further instructions from emergency officials.
"Joke" is the word I use for Gronstal all the time.